Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Survey Finds Public Support For Geoengineering Research

Research on geoengineering appears to have broad public support, as a new, internationally-representative survey revealed that 72 per cent of respondents approved research into the climate-manipulating technique. The study, published Oct. 24 in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, is the first international survey on public perception of geoengineering and solar radiation management (SRM) and shows that these terms are becoming increasingly embedded into public discourse.

Public awareness of geoengineering is remarkably broad. Eight per cent of the sample were able to provide a correct definition of geoengineering, an increase on previous estimates; however, 45 per cent of the sample correctly defined the alternative term "climate engineering," adding weight to the argument that "geoengineering" may be misleading and difficult to understand.

The 18 question, internet-based survey was completed by 3,105 participants from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States at the end of 2010, and was designed to ascertain how widespread public knowledge of geoengineering was and how the public actually perceived it.

Professor David Keith of Harvard University said: "Some reports have suggested that opposition to geoengineering is associated with environmentalists, but our results do not support this view.


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